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No, thank you. I am short of time.
In cutting the Scottish Government’s capital budget by 26 per cent and by failing to require or adequately to encourage the banks to undertake responsible lending, the UK coalition has intensified the problem even further—and that is not to mention the damage that will be caused by its current plan to pump up another housing bubble as a bribe to the electorate in the south-east of England, which is the territory on which UK elections are fought and won.
It is particularly iniquitous that some banks have taken the opportunity comprehensively to renegotiate punitive terms for housing associations as a condition on lending for new projects.
Against that background, the Scottish Government is due great credit for surpassing the halfway mark in delivering on its manifesto commitment to build 30,000 affordable homes. The Scottish Government’s decision to end the right to buy is perhaps the most important step towards achieving a good supply of public housing that has been taken for many years. It is something that Labour apparently lacked the will to do. Shame on it.
I look forward to the further powers that independence will bring, which will enable us really to get to grips with Scotland’s long-standing housing problem.